REVIEW: Bob Mould – Distortion: 1989 – 2019

REVIEW: Bob Mould – Distortion: 1989 – 2019

Strewn with treat after treat, the new mammoth 295 track 24 CD box set, entitled Distortion: 1989 – 2019 released via Demon Music Group, represents the last word on the work of Bob Mould as a solo artist plus his seminal work with his 90’s alternative rock combo Sugar. A real believer in music as being a charge for changing lives and the world around himself, this new release is welcome at this time of uncertainty what with its raw passion, standout song writing delivering a force of nature not given to everyone and anyone, Mould emphatically delivers his part devoid of laziness, the energy, vibrancy and sheers desire to give of his all is very much evident throughout.

If the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins or The Pixies are your thing, this gigantic assortment should be certainly up your street. Comprising 18 studio albums, 4 live albums and 2 albums of rare material including collaborations with an affection for a great pop music underlying the music on show, Mould was recently heard to say “It’s called “Distortion” because it describes the music and it fits the world we live in. In this new age, everybody shares their life in real time. But I’m not done yet. If I didn’t have a constantly active career, this anthology might feel like a proverbial dirt landing on top of my coffin – though somehow I seem to be able to crawl my way out of the dirt every time!”

The first tracks out of the blocks come from the 1989 solo release Workbook. Showing a brittle, almost heartbroken tone to the tracks following the breakup of Hüsker Dü, collaborating with bassist Tony Maimone and drummer Anton Fier, the collective certainly know how to make a fierce racket. Contrast this raw instrumentation to Mould’s dive into DJing with his Blowoff project from 2006, this becomes particularly apparent with tracks such as Vaporub featuring steel guitars, Sweet Serene has an attractive diverse glory before Megamanic brings the very best weirdness of Moulds mind to the fore.

On the besides collection there are tracks from a BBC radio session, ears will bleed at the sounds of the likes of Hoover Dam and The Slim, a show stopping Clownmaster instrumental. Further stand out material includes 2014’s Beauty & Ruin where he reflects on the death of his father, with the similar emotions touching the 2016 release Patch The Sky where he reflects on the death of his Mother. There are also personal moments from his own life on Life & Times, touching raw emotion is never easy to approach, buy Mould delivers something special here.

With this collection clawing back much of Mould’s back catalogue there is still a vibrancy, energy and passion to his music that you won’t find in any other artist. This is a bona fide empathic compilation of one of the best alternative artists to pick up a guitar.

Distortion can be purchased via the following link